The Uva Rebellion, also known as the 'Great Rebellion of 1817-1818'
colonial government under Governor Robert Brownrigg, which had been contro
lling the formerly independent Udarata (Sinhalese: Up-Country), of which Uva
was a province. People used to call this Independence Movement by the name
of the two places where it started: the 'Wellassa Rebellion' and the 'Uva Rebellion'.
It was the very first struggle for gaining Independence from the British.
Keppetipola Disawe - a leader that the Sinhalese celebrate even today, who
was sent initially by the British government to stop the uprising. The other
leaders who supported this Independent Movement are; II Pilima Talauve
Adikaram, Kohu Kumbure Rate Rala, Dimbulana Disave, Kivulegedara Mohottala,
Madugalle Disave, Butewe Rate Rala, Galagedara Mohottala, Dambawinna
Disave and Gode Gedara Adikaram. The Sinhalese were greatly affected by
the administrative policies of the British and were not used to being ruled
by a king who lived far away in another continent. This created unrest among
the local people and the aristocratic Chiefs in the Kandyan Kingdom. Except
for Molligoda and Ekneligoda, many Chiefs join the rebels. The rebels captured
by the British. His skull was abnormal - as it was wider than usual - and was
sent to Britain for testing. It was returned to Sri Lanka after independence,
and now rests in the Kandiyan Museum. The rebellion failed due to a number
of reasons. It was not very finely planned among the leaders. The areas
controlled by some Chiefs who helped the British provided easy transport routes
for the British to have transactions of food and other necessities. Doraisami
who was said to have a claim to the sinhalese throne was found not to have
The rebellion was notable for the bloody manner of its suppression, with 'Search
house, property, livestock and even the salt in their possession during the
the rice-bowl of Sri Lanka, were systematically destroyed. Although, it was
an Independence Struggle that was led by brave national heroes who wanted
to see a peaceful country under one flag by even giving away their lives and
contributing to save our Motherland.
after the rebellion minuted: "It is a pity that there is no evidence left behind
to show the exact situation in Uva in terms of population or agriculture
development after the rebellion. The new rulers are unable to come up to
any conclusion on the exact situation of Uva before the rebellion as there
is no trace of evidence left behind to come to such conclusions. If thousands
died in the battle they were all fearless and clever fighters. If one considers
the remaining population of 4/5 after the battle to be children, women and
the aged, the havoc caused is unlimited. In short the people have lost their
lives and all other valuable belongings. It is doubtful whether Uva has at least
now recovered from the catastrophe.